'Ties That Bind' luncheon partners young men with male mentors

Phoebe held its annual "Ties That Bind" luncheon on Wednesday. / Mary Green

Phoebe is celebrating its annual Men's Health Week this week, which usually falls the week before Father's Day and promotes men's wellness and health.

But Wednesday was about making sure the next generation of young men are prepared for success at the fourth annual "Ties That Bind" luncheon, which pairs young men with male mentors from Albany.

MSgt Dwayne Williams of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany took part for the first time this year.

"Every chance I get, I try to get in touch with the local youth because they don't have the tools, so somebody has to give it to them," he said. "In case they don't know what right looks like, sometimes we've got to model that."

He partnered up with Timothy Marshall, a rising freshman at Westover High School whose goal is to become an Air Force engineer.

MSgt Williams, Marshall and dozens of other men and boys heard from keynote speaker Werhner Washington, the Albany Procter & Gamble plant manager. Washington told them his three keys to success: show up, show respect and do your work.

But the biggest tip of all might be the simplest one, and the reason everyone came out to the luncheon: to learn how to tie a tie, something Marshall had never learned.

"It was tricky, but I think I got the hang of it," he said.

Fortunately, that wasn't the only lesson he picked up from MSgt Williams.

"To strive for my dreams and not let anything or anyone destroy my dreams to become my obstacles," Marshall said.

MSgt Williams said he learned something from Marshall as well.

"No matter where you're from or where you're at, there's always someone looking for better," he said. "They just need the opportunity."

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